Minutes for MPJC meeting for January 29

Present: Dustin, Mary Jo, Carol, Rey, Lisa, Glenda Rae, Lee, Ellyn, Peter
Old Business

1. Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the December 6th meeting were approved.

2. Progress Reports

  1. No Child Left Behind issue -- Let Me Decide High School Project: Brenna was not there, but we noted that there was a very successful gathering at the Chicory cafe on January 20 and a demonstration at the recruiting station earlier that day.

  2. Local "Camp Casey" Jan. 7-22: This was quite successful in pulling together various anti-war constituencies, but less successful in outreach to churches and those supporting the war. People camped out every night except the 21st. We should have posted bigger signs to let people know when we were in the soup kitchen area. several people stopped by but thought no one was there. If we do another Camp Casey, we should shorten the timeframe. It was hard to sustain for 15 days. The daily log is on the www.michianapeacejustice.org website together with lots of pictures.

  3. Anti-war letters to the editor: Several more have been published since December. Also we got good publicity during Camp Casey from the Tribune and Fox news, and also WVPE and WUBS radio. Ellyn did not even get a call back when she sent one of the letters to the senators and Chocola to the Tribune as a letter to the editor.

  4. CPT plans for local Nonviolent Training Center: CPT focus is now on companies producing Depleted Uranium for weapons. The closest plant is in Western Ohio, so it is unlikely that South Bend will be used as a training site. Rey noted that we need to find solid references to the sickness and birth defects resulting from the use of DU in weapons in both gulf wars. We refered him to the German video Joe Miller showed and also to Joe's list of references available through the Camp Casy blog.

3. Treasurer's Report: We have $261.93 in the bank and no outstanding debt.

New Business

  1. Plans to demonstrate against Bush on February 23: Bush is expected to arrive at Bethel around 11:30, and stay through the fundraising lunch for Chocola. Kathy is calling for thousands to come out and demonstrate our opposition to his Iraq policy. We have to do a number of things to prepare:
    1. Contact the Mishawaka police and try to find out when the streets will be closed down and where the First Amendment Zone will be (Peter will contact Mike to see if he will make this call.
    2. Possibly do Freeway blogging beforehand(Amanda and Wes)
    3. Contact as many groups as possible -- Gary/Chicago (Lee), CPNV (Ellyn), CPT (Peter), Elkhart and Goshen peace groups (Peter), NAACP (Ellyn), IMA/URC/Muslim women's group (Lois), Students at ND and SMC (Carol), Catholic Church bulletins (Carol)
    4. Organize a group of peacekeepers to make sure that our rally stays separate from provocateurs. (Carol and Glenda Rae will serve as peacekeepers. Peter will try to get a CPT rep to organize the group.) We are concerned that Chicago anarchists will try to incite violence, but they will most likely direct the violence against Bush, so the non violent folks can separate themselves from the violence.
    5. Line up a sound system and speakers. Bob, Andre, Mike, Kathy, others? (Lee will work on this)
    6. Plan companion vigils before the event -- Have the Monday vigils on the 13th and 20th in front of Chocola's office. Have a vigil 4:30-5:30 on the 16th (Thursday) on Logan in front of the Bethel campus to call attention to the inappropriate use of church property for a Republican fundraiser and to alert the Bethel workers that Bush is coming to their campus. We could read Jom Loney's litany for resistance at that gathering and try to get CPNV, CPT, Catholic Worker folks involved, and also drum up publicity. We decided to leave the Saturday vigil where it is.
    7. Plan an alternative source of information in case the site changes suddenly -- i.e. a cell phone number.
    8. Get out publicity early and often (Ellyn).
    9. See if any organizations and individuals would be willing to cosponsor the rally.

  2. Can we set up a weekly vigil at the Recruiting station: We decided to talk to the folks who come out for the vigil on February16, and see if they are interested in doing a weekly one, but not push it at this time.

  3. Topic of the Month -- Withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Ed left town before he could resurrect this topic. Lee knew someone who believed that all the troops could be out in a month. Peter will look into that quote and try to get some responses to the troop withdrawal question.

  4. Other topics and issues:
    1. There is a meeting at Center for Social Concerns on the ND campus on February 2, 7:30- 8:30 concerning a fair wage for the ND hourly workers.
    2. April 7-9 are the dates of the IPJN conference in Indianapolis.

  5. Next meeting: We will meet at Peter and Ellyn's again on Tuesday, February 7.